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Mary Flower

Chances are that you'll find Mary Flower in the folk section of your local record shop. She did found a folk-c*m-jazz-based ensemble called Mother Folkers in Denver, which was the mile-high city's leading women's folk collective; and she could look the part of a folkie "Earth mother" type. Flower moved seriously into blues over the last decade, however, and hasn't looked back since.

Born in Delphi, IN, Flower made her way to Denver at the beginning of the '70s, when she was in her twenties, and set up shop in the city's folk community; her gigs made her a name locally, and she established Mother Folkers. She always appreciated the blues, but it was a two-week period of study with Jim Schwall and Steve James at a blues workshop in West Virginia that transformed her.

Flower described herself as "consumed" by the experience, and made the decision to devote herself to the blues. She restarted her career, but initially encountered resistance, partly because she was a white blueswoman who didn't conform to expectations -- ever since Janis Joplin, white female blues performers have been expected to sound like Big Mama Thornton, which Flower didn't, Scrapper Blackwell being more of a role model. Since the early 1990s, however, she has gradually achieved acceptance, and has played places like Buddy Guy's club in Chicago as well as various festivals, where she has been well received, and tours regionally and nationally.

As a folk artist, Flower played alongside Geoff Muldaur, David Bromberg, and Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Her work in blues, however, has been strongly influenced by Scrapper Blackwell, Henry Glover, and Robert Johnson, but especially Blind Lemon Jefferson. She plays with passion, none of it forced or posed, and she has a husky voice to go with the kind of stuff she covers -- she could sing prettier than she does, but what she does seems honest. She also writes originals with a cutting, clever edge. Flower has been around about as long as Bonnie Raitt, only without the major-label record contracts, the arena and movie appearances, or the Grammy, and deserves to be known by at least as many people. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Misery Loves Company

1. Hard Day Blues

2. Recession Rag

3. Death Letter Blues

4. Jitters

5. Way Down In The Bottom

6. Gonna Sit Down On The Banks Of The River

7. Boogie Woogie Dance

8. I'm Dreaming Of Your Demise

9. Miss Delta

10. Devil's Punchbowl

11. Shake Sugaree

12. Scrapper's Blues

x

Track List: Bridges

1. Rhythm Of The Road

2. There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth The Salt Of My Tears

3. Backwater Blues

4. When I Get Home I'm Gonna Be Satisfied

5. Columbia River Rag

6. The Ghost Of The St. Louis Blues

7. Slow Lane To Glory

8. On Revival Day/There's Going To Be The Devil To Pay

9. Portland Town

10. Daughter Of Contortion

11. Big Bill's Blues

12. Temptation Rag

13. Up A Lazy River

14. Blue Waltz

x

Track List: Instrumental Breakdown

1. Black Rat Swing

2. Hobo's Hop

3. Raise The Devil

4. Black Dog Rag

5. La Grippe

6. Good News Waltz

7. Hula Hoedown

8. Monon Blues

9. Terminal Rag

10. Three Sisters' Waltz

11. Ladyfingers

12. Crooked

13. Hudson River Rag

14. Jesse's Jump

15. Ragtime Gal

16. Arkansas Ramble

17. Slovak Stomp

18. Maplewood

19. Monkeys On A Binge

20. Song For Samantha

x

Track List: Bywater Dance

1. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me

2. Raise The Devil

3. Crow Jane

4. New Orleans Hop Scop Blues

5. La Grippe

6. Last Kind Words Blues

7. Terminal Rag

8. Brother Can You Spare A Dime

9. Papa's On The Housetop

10. Hudson River Rag

11. Nobody's Fault But Mine

12. Main Street Blues

13. Built Right On The Ground

14. Good News Waltz

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Never have heard of her till now. Great picker, Pandora introduced me. Keep them coming, Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
aptbroker1
Mary is one of the best pickers I have ever heard! Bravo!
Report as inappropriate
We're proud to have Mary as a resident of Portland, OR these days. She's a treasure.
Report as inappropriate
dwarncke6
WoW! I thought is was Stephen Bennet until I looked up at the screen
Report as inappropriate
dwarncke6
She is about my age and I never heard of her before. Thanks Pandora
Report as inappropriate
I got to listen to her live and was mesmerized by her style and technique. She is one of the acoustic greats.
Report as inappropriate
Mary Flower is one of the best fingerstyle guitar players in the country. She has a voice that just won't quit.

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